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Estate Sales

Estate Sales – Boulder Real Estate Agent

It is important to start off by stating that what follows is not legal advice and should not be construed as such; it is intended for only for educational purposes and to acquaint the reader with some of the concepts that may come up when selling real property owned by the estate of a deceased person. For information specific to your circumstances it is always best for you seek legal counsel.

To start off we should review what an estate is and when it arises. An estate is the legal entity that is created to administer the distribution of all property owned by a deceased person that was not titled in the name of that deceased person’s trust, distributed automatically by operation of law (e.g., property held in joint tenancy or property distribution controlled by a beneficiary deed) or through the use of a beneficiary or transfer on death designation. Put another way, an estate controls the property that is held in the name of the deceased person only (not in the name of a trust) and whose distribution is not controlled by some other legally enforceable election made prior to death. Unlike a trust, which can control the distribution of property upon someone’s incapacity (i.e., the person can no longer speak for him/herself), an estate only comes into play when some or all of the property belonging to someone who died can only be distributed or sold through the use of letters testamentary (when there is a will) of letters of administration (when there is no will).

The process of opening an estate with a probate court is usually called “probate.” In most Colorado counties, including Boulder County, the opening, monitoring (if necessary), and closing of estates is handled by a district court designated to handle probate matters. The only exception is in the City and County of Denver where a specific, non-district court called the Denver Probate Court is tasked to handle all probate matters.

Various documents must be filed with the probate court to open an estate. These documents will vary depending on whether the deceased person left a will or whether he or she died without a will (i.e., intestate), whether the designated personal representative wants to be appointed as personal representative and whether that person lives in Colorado, and a variety of other considerations. As mentioned before, consult an attorney if you are not entirely sure of what you are doing.

What do estates have to do with real estate? In Boulder County and throughout Colorado there are many people who do not own their real estate in joint tenancy with another person and did not record a valid beneficiary deed prior to their death. When a person dies owning real estate in his or her name only, or with another person as tenants in common, a probate court in the state in which the property is located must appoint a personal representative and issue letters testamentary or letters of administration for the personal representative to have the authority to transfer the real estate to another person (e.g., a buyer, an heir or beneficiary under a will). The sale of real property from an estate to a buyer in the general market is often called an “estate sale.”

When the personal representative of an estate lives out of state there is a process “ancillary probate” that must be initiated to transfer any Colorado property out of the deceased person’s estate.

If you are the personal representative of an estate that owns real estate in Boulder County or a loved one has died and you need help selling the real estate held in your loved one’s estate contact Ashley Newell at Royal Arch Real Estate in Boulder, Colorado. As a Boulder estate sale real estate broker she has the knowledge and experience to help make sure the sale of real property out of your love one’s estate is handled as smoothly as possible.

If you are looking for a Boulder real estate agent with a results oriented approach tailored to your specific needs, contact Royal Arch Real Estate. We are knowledgeable and experienced brokers who always have your best interests at the forefront of our minds, whether you are buying or selling a home, vacant land or a new construction.